Does the thickness of net tissues affect the water-proofing ability of musk melon (Cucumis melo L.) fruit?

T. Nishizawa, T. Puthmee, R. Kawamata, T. Aikawa, Y. Motomura
Water loss from the fissures of netted melon fruit decreases rapidly during fruit development, even if the fissures have not yet been plugged by lignified and suberized periderm tissues, suggesting that the water-proofing ability of net tissues in netted melon fruit may be independent of the thickness of net tissues. In this paper, therefore, the net tissues of F1 hybrids of 'Earl's Favourite' musk melon (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus) fruits were rasped as far as the bottom of unrepaired cracks or removed until the horizontal level of the fruit skin, and changes in the transpiration rate from the net and cuticle areas were measured independently to clarify the role of suberized periderm tissues as a barrier to moisture loss. Rasping treatment did not affect the transpiration rate from the net area, while the rate markedly increased as a result of the net-removing treatment. The transpiration rate from the cuticle area remained constant throughout the period of transpiration measurement, irrespective of the treatment. These results indicate that moisture loss from the skin of musk melon fruit is effectively blocked if the suberized waxy periderm tissues have developed until just below the unrepaired cracks. In addition, microscopic analysis revealed that deformed cell walls in the hypodermal tissues were mainly distributed in the area surrounding the wounded nets. These results suggest that the moisture in hypodermal tissues is mainly lost from unrepaired net tissues, resulting in the surface depression of fruit rind, which is often observed in netted melon cultivars with very weak net development.
Nishizawa, T., Puthmee, T., Kawamata, R., Aikawa, T. and Motomura, Y. (2017). Does the thickness of net tissues affect the water-proofing ability of musk melon (Cucumis melo L.) fruit?. Acta Hortic. 1179, 51-60
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1179.9
lignin, melon, net, suberin, transpiration, water-proofing ability

Acta Horticulturae